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Monday, September 5, 2011

USK Part 2...........Shelter

        I am putting Shelter at the top of my list.  Since I live here in New England i have to be able to protect against several different types of conditions.  Keep in mind, however, i need to keep weight and size way down.  The Idea of carrying a canvas wall tent with a stove is out of the question.  Speed is another feature i am looking for.  If conditions change or the area becomes unstable i need a shelter that breaks down in seconds so we can run.  Keeping a low profile is also a good idea, because i don't want to attract attention, unless I want to.

      Noah's Tarp by Kelty seems to fill the need i have.  The trap can be set up very fast in a number of ways in any number of places.  The cover is speedy, mobile, and flexible.   The trap will protect you from the wind, rain, and even some snow.  It packs down in a little bag to a little over 1 pound so it can be transported easily in a back pack.  It also comes in an olive color so you won't grab the eye of a bad guy.  I really think The tarp in a home run for our survival kit.  Is it as good as a tent?  No.  It lacks the protection of a tent, however, it makes up for it in other ways. 
    I can also see the need for some sort of sleeping bag.  Here is where i am hitting a little bit of a road block.  Sleeping bags are great, but then again they take up a lot of room in a pack.  I am trying to avoid lashing it to the outside of the pack so i can  blend in.  Remember this is the urban setting and keeping away from bad guys is important.  An OD Green Wool Blanket seems like the next logical step.  Wool is a great insulator even when wet, but again it may take up space in my pack.  Space blankets SUCK.  They rip, and again, suck.  I did find a possible solution. Grabber Outdoors offers a hooded  emergency blanket.   Grabber's blanket seems to be a little beefier than the other space blankets and even has a hood.  From my experience ice fishing and waterfowl hunting i can tell you a hood is a must have when you want to stay warm.  Like the other emergency blankets it can also double as a poncho.  Not as good as a sleeping bag or blanket, but it will get the job done, and you will save on space.
    These two items are very light and take up very little space.  The Kelty Tarp will serve as a pretty good portable weather shield while the Grabber Blanket will keep you from freezing to death.  Personally some kind of inflatable cushion will come in very handy when you want a place to sit.  Remember this is not geared at staying in one spot all week, so i have to give up a lot of comfort for mobility. 

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